(Reuters) -Wealthy governments are seeking more COVID-19 shots from Pfizer and Moderna as concerns mount over rival vaccines, while Moderna said a shortfall in doses from its European suppliers will delay deliveries to countries including Canada and Britain.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Italy will ease curbs in many areas from April 26, warning caution was still needed to avoid any reversals in the reopening of many long-shuttered activities.
* A vaccine shortage may force the Madrid region to close down mass vaccination centres next week, even as infections in the Spanish capital outpace the national average.
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged lawmakers to approve new powers that would allow her to force lockdowns and curfews on areas with high infection rates.
* Pregnant women in Britain should get a vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna because there is more real-world data to show they are safe, the British public body that advises on vaccinations said.
* A U.S. panel will meet again next week to discuss whether the pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine should continue, after delaying a vote on the matter earlier this week.
* Experts advising Canada’s most populous province of Ontario said new cases could more than double to 10,000 a day in June, and potentially overwhelm hospitals, even if a stay at home order is extended.
* The number of new infections reported globally each week has nearly doubled in the last two months, approaching the highest rate seen so far during the pandemic, the head of the World Health Organisation said.
* India has pledged to increase the monthly output of its own vaccine about tenfold by September, as the country battles a surge in cases, with hospitals running out of oxygen and beds, while politicians held election rallies and hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees attended a weeks-long festival.
* Thailand has lined up hotels to provide extra beds for patients as it faces a record surge in new infections.
* Australia reported its first fatality from blood clots in a recipient of AstraZeneca’s shot.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkey recorded the highest daily number of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
* Johnson & Johnson has contacted rival vaccine makers to join in an effort to study the risks of blood clots, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* Sinovac’s vaccine CoronaVac was 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in the first real-world study of the Chinese shot, the Chilean government said.
* Eli Lilly and Co has requested cancellation of the U.S. authorization granted to its COVID-19 antibody, which will now be used in combination with another to achieve greater efficacy against emerging variants.
* Gold prices hit a seven-week high and global stocks scaled new records after strong U.S. and Chinese economic data bolstered expectations of a solid global recovery from the pandemic. [MKTS/GLOB]
Compiled by Devika Syamnath and Milla Nissi; Edited by William Maclean and Anil D’Silva
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